The popular blockbuster superhero film Wonder Woman has been banned in Qatar, according to local cinema companies.
The movie received critical acclaim at the box office following its recent release. But it has also drawn controversy because it is headlined by an Israeli woman.
Earlier this month, Lebanon and Tunisia banned the movie. However, it is currently playing in the UAE, Oman and Bahrain (though the Gulf dispute may make it harder for fans to travel to see the film).
Wonder Woman was initially scheduled to premiere in Doha yesterday.
But it is no longer appearing on any Qatar cinema websites, including at theaters in Villaggio, City Center or Lagoona malls.
When asked whether it was banned, Vox answered affirmatively on Twitter:
Novo Cinemas has also confirmed to movie-goers that the film will not be screened in Qatar.
Support for Israeli army
The movie’s superhero is played by Gal Gadot. Her compulsory Israeli army service coincided with the 2006 Israeli war in Lebanon.
On Facebook, she sent her “love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children…We shall overcome!!!”
Gadot’s support of Israel has caused many people around the world to wrestle with whether to support the film.
In an opinion piece for Al Jazeera, one US-based professor said he himself wondered what all the fuss was about until he actually saw the movie.
After watching it, he concluded:
“If you are utterly enjoying this particular Wonder Woman as a role model for your daughters in a theater near you and could not care less about a young Palestinian girl mourning her family in Gaza whom the woman portraying your superhero helped kill, then all the power to you.
You need not bother to know that in this film Gal Gadot does not just personify Wonder Woman, but alas Wonder Woman disappears into Gal Gadot.”
This is the third movie Qatar has banned in the past year and a half. In October, authorities told cinemas not to run psychological thriller The Girl on the Train.
Trailers for the film show sex scenes, and the story revolves around the main character’s drinking problem.
And in January 2016, The Danish Girl was withdrawn from cinema listings after residents complained on social media about its “moral depravity.”
The British film portrayed the life of a transgender Danish artist in the 1920s who undergoes one of the world’s first known sex reassignment surgeries.